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Former Arizona Police Officer Gives Inspirational Talk to Town Players and Staff
Wednesday, 3rd Aug 2022 21:13

All Town’s on-field and off-field staff were given an inspirational talk from Jason Schechterle, a former Arizona police officer who suffered serious burns in a road accident and is now a motivational speaker.

Schechterle, 49, a member and representative of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), the police and fire service pension fund which owns a majority stake in the club, spoke to office staff and a handful of invited guests including TWTD’s Phil Ham and BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy last Wednesday morning, then the coaching staff and first-team players in the afternoon.

On Thursday, he spoke to the club’s academy staff and women’s team players and staff.

In March 2001, aged 28, only 14 months into his career as a police officer on the streets of Phoenix, Schechterle was on his way to an emergency call when a taxi, travelling at over 100mph, crashed into the rear of his patrol car, the driver having suffered an epileptic fit.

Schechterle’s police car burst into flames and he was trapped inside for more than 90 seconds.

Remarkably, Schechterle survived the crash but suffered fourth degree burns, drastically altering his appearance and has since undergone more than 50 surgeries. His story in full can be found on his Burning Shield website.

Schechterle spoke about values and how Town’s now match those of PSPRS and the people they represent, as exemplified by the Running Towards Adversity mantra promoted by the club since the takeover.

The message is on the collar of Town’s home and away kits this season, while there is now also a sign bearing the names of office staff, coaching staff and players outside the first-team dressing room at Portman Road, the last thing the players see before they leave the tunnel ahead of a home fixture.

“It was an absolute pleasure to have Jason with us,” CEO Mark Ashton told the club site.

“We spoke with Jason for more than a year about a visit to Portman Road and it was more than worth the wait.

“Jason is an inspiration to us all and it was clear that his words and life experiences had a real impact on both players and staff.

“It is imperative that we share his values as we represent our fans with honour and humility. The club, and everyone that represents it, will always strive to do the right thing.”

Schechterle was also a special guest at Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Bolton Wanderers.

Backing up the Running Towards Adversity message, PSPRS and the club board have financially supported non-playing staff to help with the cost-of-living crisis with club-wide salary increases in line with inflation.

A statement on the Town website reads: “PSPRS are committed to the long-term rebuilding on Ipswich Town and recognises its staff are a vital to ultimate success.”

Photo: ITFC/Matchday Images

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Millsey added 21:50 - Aug 3
Wow what a guy 💙💙

Unhinged_dynamo added 21:56 - Aug 3
“Backing up the Running Towards Adversity message, PSPRS and the club board have financially supported non-playing staff to help with the cost-of-living crisis with club-wide salary increases in line with inflation.”

Well done town


Jester added 22:19 - Aug 3
What an amazing story. Good to see that there is engagement with members of the PSPRS, more evidence that this is a partnership and we are not simply owned by an anonymous financial fund.

RobsonWark added 00:51 - Aug 4
The same players that are taking the knee before each game backing BLM who want to defund the Police in the USA. Bloody hypocrites!

ITFCRich added 04:09 - Aug 4
@RobsonWark ...... It takes something special to take such a great story like this and turn it into something being against anti-racism....

As the others above mentioned, this guy is an absolute inspiration and credit to the players too for being so humble and responding so well to him

slade1 added 07:34 - Aug 4
Just look at this clip! What an amazing man he is. Most people would just hide away after this suffering, but not him. So brave and such courage.

Bazza8564 added 08:06 - Aug 4
So proud of our football club, this guy is inspirational

Vic added 08:35 - Aug 4

blues1 added 08:39 - Aug 4
Robsonwark what total plank you really are. How the hell does ur mind come up with such rubbish?

ghostofescobar added 09:11 - Aug 4
This club really is doing some good stuff under the new ownership. It’s been a while, but I really can say that I am exceptionally proud of our beloved club again. Well done everyone involved.

Whos_blue added 09:24 - Aug 4
Robson walk.
That's quite the take their mate.

Whos_blue added 09:37 - Aug 4
Oh dear. It seems loons are like buses.

Jonaldo added 09:40 - Aug 4
Wow, what an amazing testemony.

If I worked for ITFC in any capacity this would make me work that little bit harder knowing how much people have sacrificed to get our club moving in the right direction.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 13:15 - Aug 4
It's wonderful to feel a justified pride in our current place as a Club, who we are and how we operate.

RobsonWark added 23:08 - Aug 4
So many ignorant people on hear who can't think for themselves - just follow the crowd. We were bought by the pension fund of the Police and Firefighters of Arizona and they are paying the wages of our footballers. Wilfried Zaha (for all you ignorant people on here is a black player for Crystal Palace who does not take the knee) must be a racist!! The founders of BLM have been proved to be con merchants as they have spent all the money raised on luxury houses for themselves.

ITFCRich added 01:40 - Aug 5
RobsonWark.... I'm speechless. Please before calling people ignorant at least do some research into what you're saying. Zaha and many other players no longer take the knee because they feel the message has been lost and it isn't changing anything, a perfectly valid viewpoint. Secondly, the BLM organisation has absolutely nothing to do with taking the knee in football - if you have a problem with them, don't let it confuse you with the simple message that black lives matter.

Ebantiass added 09:56 - Aug 6
If someone taking the knee for literally 4 seconds before a football match offends you ,then you have no place attending professional sport.
I think its great that our club actually cares about issues around and off the football field.

ITFCRich said it perfectly in the above post. EVERYBODIES lives

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